US Demanded Ukraine End Probe Of Soros-Funded Group During 2016 Election

The Hill this week dropped a bombshell report detailing what appears an actual, confirmed case of meddling of massive proportions: in 2016 Obama administration officials sought to suppress a Ukrainian corruption probe into an NGO bankrolled by both the US government and Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros. 

When Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office tried to investigate an alleged misallocation of $4.4 million in US funds, which was supposed to go toward anti-corruption initiatives, US embassy officials came down hard to shut down the investigation altogether. “We ran right into a buzzsaw and we got bloodied,” a senior Ukrainian official told The Hill.

George Soros, second left, chairman of Soros Fund Management and founder of The Open Society Institute, speak with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, in Kiev, Ukraine, Jan. 13, 2015. via AP/Washington Times

According to the report, Ukraine's probe was quashed after the US Embassy in Kiev gave Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko “a list of people whom we should not prosecute” as part of the inquiry. 

Lutsenko told The Hill he believes Democrats wanted to investigation stopped dead in its tracks because it could expose the party to scandal during the 2016 election. 

The Hill report explains this in unambiguous terms while acknowledging the clear hypocrisy of simultaneous FBI probes into team Trump's alleged business ties with pro-Russian figures in Ukraine, citing Lutsenko's explosive testimony:

It turns out the group that Ukrainian law enforcement was probing was co-funded by the Obama administration and liberal mega-donor George Soros. And it was collaborating with the FBI agents investigating then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s business activities with pro-Russian figures in Ukraine.

The implied message to Ukraine’s prosecutors was clear: Don’t target AntAC in the middle of an America presidential election in which Soros was backing Hillary Clinton to succeed another Soros favorite, Barack Obama, Ukrainian officials said.

Lutsenko spells out that top American officials would be further embarrassed if scrutiny were put on just how US tax dollars were being spent in Ukraine: “At the time, Ms. Ambassador thought our interviews of the Ukrainian citizens, of the Ukrainian civil servants who were frequent visitors in the U.S. Embassy, could cast a shadow on that anti-corruption policy,” he said.

The Hill collaborated Lutsenko's words by citing an email sent to the Ukrainian prosecutor's office in April 2016, authored by then US embassy Charge d’ Affaires George Kent, which said, “The investigation into the Anti-Corruption Action Center (sic), based on the assistance they have received from us, is similarly misplaced.”

The focus on AntAC — whose youthful street activists famously wore “Ukraine F*&k Corruption” T-shirts — was part of a larger probe by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office into whether $4.4 million in U.S. funds to fight corruption inside the former Soviet republic had been improperly diverted. —The Hill

But The Hill's findings, based Ukrainian officials' testimony and internal communication between the US embassy and the prosecutor's office in Kiev, reveals an alarming and explosive state of affairs that potentially goes far beyond Ukraine.

According to the report, "the AntAC anecdote highlights a little-known fact that the pursuit of foreign corruption has resulted in an unusual alliance between the U.S. government and a political mega-donor."

The following section of The Hill's report spells out a Washington and private sector circular arrangement that ensures Soros-funded NGOs continue to be the on-the-ground vanguard of US policy in Ukraine

After the Obama Justice Department launched its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative a decade ago to prosecute corruption in other countries, the State Department, Justice Department and FBI outsourced some of its work in Ukraine to groups funded by Soros.

The Hungarian-American businessman is one of the largest donors to American liberal causes, a champion of the U.S. kleptocracy crackdown and a man with extensive business interests in Ukraine.

One key U.S. partner was AntAC, which received 59 percent (or $1 million) of its nearly $1.7 million budget since 2012 from U.S. budgets tied to State and Justice, and nearly $290,000 from Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation, according to the group’s donor disclosure records.  

The U.S.-Soros collaboration was visible in Kiev. Several senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and FBI agents appeared in pictures as participants or attendees at Soros-sponsored events and conferences.

All of this comes after in an interview last week Lutsenko noted that he has opened a formal investigation probing whether financial records leaked by Ukrainian officials amidst the 2016 US elections was a covert attempt to sway voters in favor of Hillary Clinton.